GUWAHATI, Jan 27 � Asserting that a multi-pronged approach of the State Government involving sustained development efforts, counter-insurgency operations against active outfits, and peace overtures to those keen for a negotiated settlement was paying rich dividends, Governor JB Patnaik on Thursday said that the State had achieved �tremendous success in the field of all-round development and peace and stability in the State.�
Addressing the central function of the 63rd Republic Day at the Khanapara Veterinary College playground, Patnaik termed the recent laying down of arms by nine outfits as another milestone in tackling militancy.
�The State Government is also taking steps for their rehabilitation. I once again thank the people of Assam for their contribution for ushering in an era of peace and prosperity in the State,� he said, adding that the doors were always open for the other outfits to settle their demands through dialogue.
On the socio-economic front, Patnaik said Assam had achieved the sixth highest rate of improvement in economic growth among all the States of the country during 2001-10, as revealed by the Planning Commission.
�I am happy to note that Assam has one of the lowest economic inequalities among all Indian States� A very encouraging feature of Assam's development is that it achieved the third highest rate of progress among all States of India in human development index," he said.
Reiterating the Government's commitment to rural development, Patnaik said that strengthening of the Panchayati Raj institutions, and providing gainful employment including self-employment to the rural populace had been some of the focused areas. He added that during the current financial year, the Government was hopeful of achieving 800 lakh man-days under the NREGA.
On the raging issue of the Lower Subansiri hydel project, Patnaik said that the State Government was committed to addressing all the apprehensions about adverse downstream and environmental impacts.
Mentioning some key initiatives in the sphere of education, the Governor said that conduct of the teachers eligibility test (TET), training to teachers, computerization and adoption of the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework, and steps for establishment of four engineering colleges, 21 polytechnics, one IIIT, a women�s university, etc., would go a long way in boosting higher and technical education in the State.